Suzuki Liana VURV

Suzuki Liana VURV

Suzuki Liana VURV

Suzuki Liana has been around the block for some time now.

Have you noticed that it is not as common as you’d expect a 1.3 Suzuki car to be? I mean, you still see the Baleno plying the roads more often than the Liana. I think it is safe to say that the Suzuki Liana is not exactly a runaway success. The Engine is the same as the Baleno’s (in terms of engine capacity and responsiveness at least), so why aren’t more people buying the Liana? First, of course, is the damn shape. The car seems to be, you know, packed a little too tight from the sides, as if someone squashed it ever-so slightly. And then there is the cost.

Price of Suzuki Liana VURV

The New Suzuki Liana VURV will set you back at least 1,184,500 / -. And that’s just for the Petrol version.

A petrol version?

Yes, it seems that a factory-fitted CNG kit now deserves to be called a “CNG Version”, although it runs just fine on petrol too.

So, Suzuki Liana VURV - petrol version is priced at 1,184,500.

The Suzuki VURV – CNG version is priced at 1,255,500

What about Transmission? Obviously, there is no A/T in this one. Ever. Suzuki and Automatic Transmissions just don’t do well together it seems. When was the last time you saw a Suzuki car with an automatic transmission? Exactly, me neither.

Why You Should Consider Buying The Suzuki Liana

Suzuki is one of my most favorite car companies. Not because they make cheap cars for the ‘rest of us’, and not because their cars usually are the ‘last option’ on anyone’s list of possible cars to buy. No. I like Suzuki cars because of their engines. I don’t know, but a 1.3 Baleno has always, and I mean ALWAYS outperformed a Honda City or even the Toyota Corolla Xli. Always.

And does anyone here remember what the Suzuki Baleno 1.6 used to do to the VTi (Honda) and GLi (Toyota)? Wherever you see the now-rare Baleno 1.6, just offer a small Thanks to Your Lord for showing you such a wonderful car!

So yeah, the Suzuki engines feel more powerful, they drive better and you have a sense of responsiveness that the other two companies just don’t seem to give you. And no one can beat their parts-availability and the Suzuki’s ruggedness.

The only thing BAD in the Suzuki Liana, really, is the shape of the car; I’ve seen better backside of buses! For some people, that is reason enough to not buy the car.

 

The New Hilux

Toyota Hilux in Pakistan

Toyota Hilux Turbo in Pakistan

For those who are not aware, the Toyota Hilux is very much a living legend.

From Top Gear to Newsweek, the critics have always held great respect for the rough and tough 4×4. Not only that, the  Toyota Hilux is well known for its part in the wars of our world! Yes, much like the revered AK-47 when it comes to weapons, the Toyota Hilux is considered the AK-47 of vehicles.

The Toyota Hilux in Pakistan

We have had the Vigo, the imported variety of the Hilux, plying our roads for some time now. It is by all means, a desirable vehicle. And no one has to tell you that they are talking about the Hilux and when they say ‘Double Cabin’.

But there is one problem; more often than not, you’d see the ‘lords of our country’ stuffing their guards into the Hilux. It is, for most intents and purposes, considered a ‘guard car’, but that is not to be considered a bad thing! The Hilux gets a kick out of this reputation as well; guards get the toughest car, no?

My anecdotal review

One fine day, I got to ride in a Land Cruiser, a Pardo and the double cabin Hilux. All three 4×4′s, on the same day. As expected, the Cruiser took full marks on pretty much everything (it is not the best car in the world for nothing!), but to my surprise, I just couldn’t place the Prado above the Double Cabin. The Hilux was more comfortable, even in the supposedly cramped back seat (it is not cramped, you only imagine it to be!)

What’s new in the New Hilux?

The same that you’d expect from a monopolistic, zero-competition industry; not much. The ‘new’ Hilux is claimed to have a new ‘Turbo’ engine, whatever that means, and the website does not tell you much about what ‘new engine’ got placed.

There are two ‘trims’ to the Hilux; Hilux Standard and Hilux Turbo.

So, what is the difference in the engines of the Standard and the Turbo? If you dare to read the specifications, you will clearly see the difference in the Standard and Turbo engines.

Toyota Hilux Standard and Turbo difference

And what exactly does TURBO mean?

Why are you not surprised that both the engines have EXACTLY the same specifications?

Toyota, especially with the Corolla, have given us the same 2.0 Diesel engine for ages, whereas the diesel technology on Toyota cars has leaped forward in other parts of the world. I request the Toyota guys reading this, to please give us a break!


Give me 4 Lacs, I will give you AC

If you ever get a chance to see the Toyota Indus website, you’d see that they have tried to present even the smallest of things as ‘features’ of this ‘new’ Hilux. They even go ahead and mention things like “premium” fabric on the inside of doors as a freakin’ feature. Are you kidding me? And they mention that the new Hilux have ‘bottle holders’. What the hell?

But then again, the ‘Standard’ version of the ‘new’ Turbo Hilux does not have Air Conditioning, or the ‘premium’ fabric gracing the inside of the door. So you better end up paying 400,000 more for the Turbo version! Wait till people pimp their Standard versions over at the Montgomery Road, and get it to “look” exactly like the Turbo version for quarter of the price difference.

And there is no option of automatic transmission in either of the two trims. That is just sad.

The Price We Pay

The standard comes to 2,349,000 Pakistani Rupees.

The Turbo costs 2,749,000 Pakistani Rupees.

There is the touchscreen DVD and other ‘little things’ that make up the price difference. You also get the A/C in the Turbo version. So rejoice!

Will you buy this car?

I will buy this vehicle because it ‘looks’ good, and even the ‘old’ engine tech of Toyota has stood the test of time. I will not buy this car if I have the slightest of chance of getting an imported vehicle.

I only want to get one thing clear; the Pakistani market is constantly given a bad deal, or rather a deal that is just good enough. As mentioned previously on Car Advice, if you really want to see if ‘our cars’ would stand up against ANY competition, let us import cars at a lower duty. Then no one, and I mean, NO ONE, would pay what we have to pay.

Specifications (the boring part)

DIMENSIONS
STANDARD – 4X4 TURBO – 4X4
Overall Length mm 5130 5255
Overall Width mm 1760 1835
Overall Height mm 1810
Wheelbase mm 3085
ENGINE SPECIFICATIONS
STANDARD – 4X4 TURBO – 4X4
Engine Type 2KD-FTV
Fuel System Common-Rail Type
Displacement cc 2494
Maximum Output kW/rpm 75 / 3600
Maximum Torque Nm/rpm 260 / 1600-2400
Maximum Turning Radius (body) m 6.5
PERFORMANCE
STANDARD – 4X4 TURBO – 4X4
Transmission 260 / 1600-2400
Brakes Front Ventilated Disc
Rear Drum
ABS X 0
Suspension Front Double Wishbone
Rear Leaf, Rigid
Stabilizer Bar Standard
Steering System Hydraulic Power Steering
Tire and Wheel 205R16C 6J 255/70R15C 7J WITH ALLOYS
Fuel Tank Capacity Liters 76
SAFETY
STANDARD – 4X4 TURBO – 4X4
GOA BODY STRUCTURE 0
FUEL LEVEL WARNING 0
Seat Belt Driver: 3 Point ELR, with Pretensioner and Force Limiter Passenger: 3 Point ELR
2 Passengers: 3 Point ELR Center Passenger: Non Retractable
SRS Air Bag X D + P
EXTERIOR
STANDARD – 4X4 TURBO – 4X4
Front Grill Black Body Colored
Door Outside Handle Black Body Colored
Front Bumper Black Body Colored
Outside Rear View Mirror Black Body Colored With Side Turn Lamps
Front Head Lamps Halogen
Antenna Pillar
Deck Guard 0 X
High Mount Stop Lamp X 0
Rear Window Defogger X 0
Sun Visors X 0
Side Step X 0
Over Fenders X 0
Rear Bumper X 0
Roof Rack / Carrier X 0
Roll Bar X 0
Bull Guard X 0
Front Hood Protector X 0
Front Fog and Driving Lamps X 0
Deck Liner With Tailgate Cover X 0
INTERIOR
STANDARD – 4X4 TURBO – 4X4
Air Conditioning X 0
Heater 0
Speakers X 4SP – Door Mounted
Audio X Touchscreen DVD/CD Player
Steering Wheel 3 Spoke Urethane 4 Spoke Urethane
Manual Tilt
Seats Fabric Premium Fabric
Interior Color Scheme Gray
Multi Info Display Clock Only
Door Inside Handle Colored
Room Lamp 0
Instrument Panel Center Cluster Gray Silver
Power Windows X 0
Headrest Front 0
Rear
Console Box X 0
Speedometer Analog KM/H

Toyota Avanza in Pakistan

2010 has hardly started, and Pakistan sees five different cars being launched!

First, there was the Suzuki Swift (covered on CarAdvice here and for Swift pictures, see here). Then there is Toyota coming out with four different cars, all belonging to the, ahem ill-defined ‘spacious’ variety:

  • Toyota Prado (CarAdvice’s review of one cool feature in Prado can be found here)
  • Toyota Avanza
  • Toyota Fortuner (that I can’t help spell and call Fortrunner)
  • Terios  (by Dihatsu)

Toyota Avanza is priced at PKR 1,799,000 for the Standard version and PKR 1,999,000 for the ‘Up Spec’. And the difference of PKR 200,000 is because in the Up-Spec version, you have 4 speakers instead of 2, 15-inch alloys instead of 14-inch steel and ‘electronic’ rear view mirror control instead of ‘manual’.

The car is 1.5 liters which I feel will be underpowered if you stack the car up to full capacity and drive back home from a good lunch. Toyota is intelligent enough to introduce different cars into the market and play up to the wallet of all classes of our society. I keep hearing stupid remarks by people that ‘the cars are too expensive’ for Toyota to bring in. No man, the car is expensive for me to buy it! But there are definitely people out there who’d consider Toyota Avanza as a right fit for their combined family trip. Tthe reason Yamaha doesn’t bring in heavy bikes, or Suzuki doesn’t bring their highly successful GS series of motorbikes (from 150 CC to 750CC) to Pakistan is ‘officially’ quoted as ‘lack of a market’. Well, there will be no market unless some makes it, and Toyota makes it every time!

Toyota Avanza Pictures

This is what it is all about, check ‘em out.

Honda Accord CF3 (2002)

I have owned a fair bunch of cars. I started with a Swift (1990-91 model) that had been in our family since 1993. I got it in the year 2000. It was during the college days. Sold that to buy a Mehran. A brand new one. I loved the Mehran (why, if you dare ask, would one love a car like that? then you’ve got to read my review of Suzuki Mehran). After Mehran, I bought a brand new Baleno. I sold the Baleno, at a good price, in 2006. In the January of 2007, I got my hand on a car that is definitely a sure-fire winner. The Honda Accord CF3.

When I decided to buy the car, pretty much everyone told me not to buy it. Why? Well, for the only reason people tell you not to buy a car i.e. resale. “Market kee garee nahi hai” or “Buy a new Corolla and be done with it!” What? I have not regretted buying the sleek CF3 one bit, since the 3 odd years that I have owned it.

The car drives like a charm. It gives me 8 to 9 kms to the liter. I had decided when I bought it that I will not install CNG to the car, and I am so far happy with that decision. At 1800 CCs, the Accord has smooth acceleration and nimble handling, thanks to the EPS (Electronic Power Steering). Of course, handling of a car has not ‘that’ much to do with the Power Steering, but the overall ‘feel’ of the drive is enhanced many folds.

I imported the Accord CF3 directly from Japan, and I registered it myself (for a whopping 60 thousand rupees or so). And before I bore you further, here are the pictures:

This car is now for sale, at PakWheels.com (Click here to see the listing)

Suzuki’s APV: What good is this All Purpose Vehicle?

apv20design20concept201Suzuki has about 3 years ago started importing APV to supplement (or perhaps replace) its ailing BOLAN Van. The APV however is now being used to give direct competition to Mitsubishi’s L300 & Toyota’s Hiace Commuter Vans as well as being advertised for your ‘entire’ (read joint) family needs. Lets see what the APV is all about!

 Its price (ranging from Rs1.62million to Rs.1.675million) is perhaps its weapon of choice (as with all Suzuki models) with its competing Mitsubishi’s L300 price ranging between Rs.1.999million to Rs.2.349million & the more popular Hiace retailing between Rs.2.499million & Rs.3.199million.

dmmcl300_landing

Moreover its smaller overall & engine size makes it more economical & easier to navigate on narrow inner-city roads found in all the major cities of Pakistan. Engine dispalcement of APV is 1493cc compared to L300′s 2477cc & Hiace’s 1593cc.  Overall length of APV is 4.23m much less than L300′s 4.59m (STD) & 4.81m (DX). Although both claim a min. turning radius of 4.9m APV can even part where L300 won’t (even with bumpers removed).

Fuel tank of L300 is slightly bigger 55L compared with APV’s 47L so is the seating capacity (L300:12; APV:8) but the size of fuel tank does not come as an advantage while within the urban areas & in Pakistan seating capacity is hardly what is written in the brochure.

The only thing the car isn’t good for is what it is actually advertised for: accomodating large-joint families because Suzuki’s own BOLAN beats APV in all categories (price, fuel efficiency & mobility) except comfort. But when the whole family travels together who needs comfort; all we need is to get wherever we are going fast to avoid verbal skirmishes.

Porsche’s (mis)adventure in Pakistan’s market!?

porschePorsche Pakistan was launched by Autotechnik  Pvt. Ltd. in 2005 with the establishment of Porsche Centre Lahore. Autotechnik is the exclusive importer of Porsche cars in Pakistan.

normalAfter changing two locations & opening/closing a service centre the company seems to have shut down its operations temporarily. The reasons purpotedly include a clash between partners & a ‘fall-out’ with the parent company in Germany.

cayman-sToday the contact numbers given by Autotechnik website are 0425872871 & 042-5872875 while the Porsche International Website (incidentally linked on Porsche Pakistan website gives the same as (Sales) 111-777-911 & (Service) 111-888-911. I’m confused but what is more confusing is that none of them is being attended.

cayenne-turboNevertheless the cars that are being sold are being sold at these proces (as er Porsche-Pakistan.com website:

www.porsche-pakistan.com

Boxster Rs.6.483m                     Boxster S Rs.7.502m

Cayman Rs.6.977m                   Cayman S Rs.7.908m

Cayenne Rs.7.003m                 Cayenne S Rs.9.082m                        

Cayenne GTS Rs.10.018m      Cayenne Turbo Rs.14.213m

Unfortunately the classic 911 & the superfast Panamera range are not available in Lahore but you can get one from Middle East importers.

The convertible Boxster has a top speed of 258kph (standard) & 272kph (S-type) while Cayman & Cayman S have almost identical topspeed but with a fixed roof.

Until the sales start once more you can try checking out the porsche international website http://www.porsche.com for any further updates.

Vitz & Platz: Are they any good on Pakistani roads?

800px-03-05_toyota_echo_sedan800px-2002_toyota_vitz_01

Toyota developed Vitz (aka Yaris) & Platz (aka Echo) initially for sale/use in European & Japanese markets. However, just because they are cheaper (to buy) many of my local brethren have fallen ‘prey’ to dubious dealers selling Vitz & Platz (mostly re-conditioned ones) as Japanese assembled “A-Category” automobiles.

During the course of my research I came across an article by an American ex-pat, Heather Carriero currently teaching in Pakistan who has a self-described ‘unquenchable” thirst for travel, adventure & new challenges.

Her article cites the cars’  low clearance, non-compatibility with CNG kits & overall poor quality of fuel in Pakistan as the most daunting problems faced by these foreign-assembled cars.

You can read more of her article at the link given below:

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1057526/warning_buying_and_driving_a_toyota.html?cat=27

Heather’s VERDICT: Would love to buy, own & use both in Japan but they are just not suitable to the environment of the subcontinent.

Your VERDICT: ???

Suzuki Alto vs Daihatsu Cuore

design_concept_alto_11img_coure-1Suzuki’s Alto has been launched by the carmaker to compete with Daihatsu’s Cuore. Although they are both priced in the same range (Alto variants priced for Rs.0.588million & Rs.0.637million while variants of Cuore sell for Rs.0.569million to Rs.0.709million); engine displacement of Cuore is only 847cc (3-cylinders) with a 3-speed A/T transmission  (5-speed in CX & CXCNG variants) compared with 970cc (4-cylinders) displacement of the Alto’s with its 5-speed M/T transmission.

is more compact at 3.3m in length while Alto is slightly larger at 3.395m. Both have near exact suspension systems i.e. MacPherson Strut for front wheels & isolated trailing link for rear ones. WHile fuel tanks are also identical (37-litre capacity) the CNG cylinder in Alto is slightly bigger (55-L) than Cuore’s (50-L).

If Alto sells for its better performance features the severalphoto_7 variants of Cuore design_concept_alto_11make it affordable to a variety of buyers including some chunk of the Cultus market which is otherwise the only car that competes exclusively against ‘unorganized imports’. Both are assembled locally with Daihatsu assembling their’s at the Toyota Indus Motors plant & Suzuki having their own assembly unit.

Suzuki Liana ke na liana?

liana20main20picLets face it with price of the lowest tier 1.3L RXI MT starting at Rs.0.952million with the top of the line 1.6L EMINENT AT going for Rs.1.086million Liana is ”poor man’s sedan”. But is this just our ATTITUDE?

Although most of us grew up or around Suzuki manufactured vehicles but ever since other Japanese carmakers (Honda, Toyota & Nissan) set-up their car-assembly units we have come to look down upon Suzuki vehicles with a high degree of disdain.

Suzuki has never tried to allay this impression and we have made it out into some sort of a firm belief. Now with new inductions and elimination of ‘failed’ brands Suzuki maybe out to set things right but is it too late, only time will tell.

liana20web20imageLet us examine what it calls Life In A New Age (or LIANA for short). Suzuki’s Liana is the shortest of all sedans with a length of 4.35m from bumper-to-bumper slightly shorter even than Honda’s CITY (4.395m) and comes in three variants: The basic RXI, slightly luxuries LXI & top-of-the-line EMINENT.

Suzuki knowing well their ‘thrift-conscious’ clientele have factory fitted the RXI & LXI with CNG which are available as an option only. With EMINENT SUzuki appears to be attempting to play ‘cach-up’ with the CITY since even their prices have a less than Rs.0.100million difference (some might say its a ‘wannabe’ CITY).

liana20vurv20design20concept201Shiny, metallic interior is complimented by the new chrome front-grill & alloy tyre-rims which are again an option only. With new fog lamps added to suit the needs of up-country Pakistani clients & a new ‘sparkling’ tail-light Liana seems to scream ‘look at me, I am a sedan too’.

The only feature other than the factory-fit 60L CNG cylinder (Petrol tank holds max. 50L fuel) that I really like is the key-less entry buttons (placed on the key itself they may look tachy but are functional to say the least). Here Suzuki has taken a leaf out of the Mitsubishi Lancer’s manual which has the same option in all its new models.

This is all there is to a Liana so now Suzuki Liana ke na Liana “Bring it (home) or don’t” is up to you and your pocket’s liking.

Which is the fastest road car in the world?

Face it boys will always be boys & the badder the boy the faster will be his ride. However here we are interested in super cars that are street legal & go faster than all others.

800px-bugatti_veyron_in_tokyoAlthough Bugatti Veyron made by is the fastest production car currently with a price tag of US$.1.7million and a top speed of 253mph achieved by its 1001hp Narrow Angle W16 Engine and ended McLaren F1′s (Top Speed: 240mph) 11-year reign as the fastest production car in 2005. Today several cars are in various stages of development that have proven faster in trials.

ccx3One such car is the swedish-made Koenigsegg CCX whose manufacturer also claims that it is capable of exceeding 250mph putting it at par with the Veyron. Infact CCX ended the reign of McLaren F1 but its own reign was short-lived as Bugatti immediately updated its Veyron. Koenigsegg has announced that they will update CCX very soon.

ssc-ultimate-aeroYet another challenger is SSC Ultimate Aero which on Sep. 13th, 2007 using a closed section of Washington State Highway clocked a top speed of 256.18mph using a V8 engine half-the-size of Veyron’s. It generates 1183bhp &  of torque (Veyron: 479lbs). The car’s website page(www.sportscarcup.com/ssc-ultimate-aero/) lists the top speed as 273mph. Price: US$0.6Million.

barabustkrAnother equivalent of this amazing challenger is the fast yet modified supercar built by Barabus called Barabus TKR having 6L V8 Chevy bi-turbo engine capable of generating an amazing 1095bhp & acgheivingtop speed of  270mph. The body & chasis of the car are both made of carbon-fibre. It is rumoured to reach 0-60mph in 1.67sec which is amazing since even 4 sec qualifies for supercar.

hennesseysrt-10vipervenom1000An obscure modifier using modified versions of Dodge Viper under name of Hennessey SRT-10 Viper Venom 1000 Twin Turbo Coupe claims to challenge Bugatti Veyron (even SSC Ultimate Aero) using a 500bhp Viper engine reworked to give 1000bhp at 15psi instead of the usual 10psi creating a 255mph marvel priced at a ‘reasonable’ US$0.225million.

colanilemansColani Racing of Switzerland has designed a roadster which is yet to see the light of any road other than the 24-hour LeMans Circuit. With a 900hp engine The Colani LeMans is rumoured to have a top speed of approx. 255mph. However there is no news regarding any plans for commercial production and Colani are uptil now only producers of cars for racing purpose.

callawaysledgehammercorvette Callaway Corvette Sledgehammer reached a top speed of 254.76mph on  Oct 19, 1989 driven by John Lingenfelter. Only 1 of these cars exists, although, at the time Callway Motor Company claimed that they could reproduce it for 0.400million. It seems no one wants one at that price & it has ended up being a concept car rather than a commercial production model.

Other concept cars that failed to become production cars included Oldsmobile Aerotech Short Tail (Top Speed: 257mph); Lotec C1000 (Top Speed 268mph); F-Bomb 1973 Camaro (Top Speed 270mph); Bristol Fighter SCR (270mph – electronically limited to 225mph); Audi R-Zero (Top Speed 253mph); Melling Hellcat (Top Speed 276mph) & the 2000hp Walley Larson LE1 Groundfighter (Top Speed 305mph).

Anything I missed please do let me know.